Unemployment

The State Job Transition Agreement covers both fixed-term contract and permanent employees. The Job Security Foundation (Trygghetsstiftelsen) administers, designs support processes and provides financial support. Criteria governing the right to support vary depending on your form of employment and qualifying periods.

The Agreement applies to employees at:

  • state sector universities, higher education institutions or other state agencies in Sweden,
  • foundation-owned universities, such as Jönköping University or Chalmers, as well as some other non-state sector organisations that are members of the Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket).

If you work for another employer, there may be an equivalent agreement with other terms and conditions.

Transition support is the measures you are entitled to if you are made redundant or if your fixed-term contract expires. Support may consist of help from the Job Security Foundation to get a new job or set up your own company, for example, or individualised measures in the form of training and education. It may also include topping up of your unemployment benefit to the level of 80% of your actual salary or topping up of your salary if you take a new job with a lower salary.

The Job Transition Agreement in brief

The Job Transition Agreement applies to employees who have been made redundant and to employees whose fixed-term contracts have expired. Qualifying periods and forms and levels of support vary. Here is a brief summary of what applies in each case.

The term employer refers to the functional employer (see below for clarification).

If you are made redundant

  • The qualifying period is one year of employment at the employer.
  • The Agreement provides an extended period of notice.
  • Individual support from the Job Security Foundation with the aim of finding a new job or starting your own company. The support is available during your notice period and for up to five years subsequently.
  • Financial supplement of your unemployment benefit, totalling up to 80% of your previous income during the entire unemployment benefit period.
  • Financial compensation for up to three years if you take a new job with a lower salary.
  • After an individual assessment, there are opportunities to receive special pension benefits (early retirement) from the age of 62 if you are made redundant after a certain age or after seven years of employment at the employer.

If your fixed-term contract expires

In order to be covered by the Agreement, you need to fulfil the qualifying period requirement. Your benefits depend on how long you have been in fixed-term employment at the employer.

An overview of different forms of support from the Job Security Foundation when a fixed-term contract expires

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If your employment ends after two years of fixed-term employment

Qualifying period: at least two years of fixed-term employment with the same employer. The employment period must be continuous, although a break of up to eight working days is permitted.

Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation for the equivalent of six days plus a planning dialogue and one follow-up dialogue. Some of this support may take place during the final month of employment (during paid working hours).

If your employment ends after three years of fixed-term employment

Qualifying period: at least three years of fixed-term employment with the same employer. The employment period must be continuous, although a break of up to eight working days is permitted.

Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation in the form of a planning dialogue and one follow-up dialogue plus expanded individual support from the Foundation. Some of this support may take place during the final month of employment (during paid working hours). In addition, limited financial support, (44 benefit days, which is equivalent to two months’ full-time unemployment), during the period you receive unemployment benefit. These provisions also apply in full to employees with doctoral candidate positions (PhD).

If your employment ends after six years of fixed-term employment

Qualifying period: a total six years of fixed-term employment within a period of seven years with the same employer. In order to qualify for support, an initial period of continuous employment of at least three years is required, although a break of up to eight working days is permitted, followed by at least three years within a four-year period. Please note that employment as a doctoral candidate may not be included in this calculation.

Benefits: support for transition through the Job Security Foundation in the form of a planning dialogue and one follow-up dialogue, as well as expanded individual support from the Foundation. Some of this support may take place during the final month of employment (during paid working hours). Financial support in the form of supplementary unemployment compensation during an entire unemployment insurance period or financial compensation if you take a new job with lower pay at approximately the same level as other employees who were made redundant.

Other important details in the Job Transition Agreement

  • The Agreement is valid until the age of 67 or any higher age that is applicable for the right to retain employment as specified in the Swedish Employment Act (LAS. Financial compensation is not payable after your 65th birthday.
  • Your functional employer is the employer that you work for when your employment ends, (e.g. a specific higher education institution). In certain cases, it possible to include employment at another state employer in the qualifying period, for example if you go straight from one permanent position to another.
  • In the Agreement, the term “educational employment” refers to employment as a doctoral candidate. The new Agreement distinguishes between employment as a doctoral candidate and other fixed-term contract employees, and this affects how the qualifying period is calculated in some cases.
Frequently asked questions

All permanent employees and some fixed-term contract employees in the state sector are covered by the Transition Agreement.

If you have been continuously employed on a fixed-term contract for at least three years with the same employer, (a break of up to eight days is permitted), you are entitled to supplementary unemployment compensation through to the Agreement if your employment ends.

If you are unsure whether you are covered by the Job Security/Transition Agreement or another job security agreement, please contact your previous employer(s) for information. You can also contact the Job Security Foundation (Trygghetsstiftelsen) if you have been a state sector employee. If you are still unsure about anything, contact the SULF members’ support service and we will be happy to help.

If you are covered by the Job Transition Agreement, you will be contacted by the Job Security Foundation. It is important that you are in contact with the Foundation in order to be able take advantage of the support they provide, including topping up of unemployment benefit. If you have qualified for financial support, i.e. topping up of your benefit, this must be used up before you can apply for compensation through the SULF income insurance, which is included in your membership of SULF. The SULF income insurance allows members who are only qualified for 44 days of supplementary financial support from the Foundation to apply for the full 150 days of compensation through the insurance. No days are deducted if you have received financial support from the Job Security Foundation.

If you wish, you can take out a supplementary income insurance which provides a further 150 days of cover. The cost of this extra cover depends on your salary level. The supplementary income insurance must be taken out no later than one year before the period of unemployment begins in order to be valid.

If you get a new job with a higher salary and then become unemployed after you have qualified for inclusion in the Job Transition Agreement, you may receive supplementary compensation though the SULF income insurance, as the Job Security Foundation will base your support on the salary level you had when you were registered with them.

In addition to financial compensation to supplement your unemployment benefit, the Job Security Foundation provides qualified support to help you to find a new job or to start your own company. This support is also provided if you do not qualify for financial support from the Foundation.

Supplementary unemployment compensation or topping up are other terms for additional unemployment insurance cover up to the equivalent of 80% of your previous salary. Apply to the Job Security Foundation for this additional support. The unemployment insurance fund’s (a-kassan) assessment of your eligibility for income-related benefits determines the level of the benefit you will receive. Find out more about the qualifying periods for support from the Job Security Foundation.

The high proportion of researchers, teachers and doctoral candidates on fixed-term contracts at universities means the Job Security Foundation is well accustomed to offering help and support to PhDs. This support goes well beyond topping up employment benefit and is tailored to suit individual needs. The Foundation’s own analysis shows that 75% of its clients find a solution within nine months.

More information on support to doctoral graduates can be found on the Foundation’s website.

The Job Transition Agreement does not normally apply if you choose to leave your job of your own accord. Exceptions may apply if you have been given the option of voluntary redundancy due to a shortage of work at the employer or if the organisation moves to a new location.

Nor does the SULF income insurance apply in cases of resignation from a position unless the unemployment insurance fund (a-kassan) decides to waive the 45-day qualification period normally applies  in such cases.
For these reasons, it is important that you contact SULF and the unemployment insurance fund before you give notice.

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